Mandala Monday: A mandala for beginning

mandala & journal pages

Mandala for beginning
{extra fine sharpie marker}

October 1.  If I was a resolution maker, I’d be making some resolutions, because for me this is the beginning of the year.  I used to think it was because I’ve been on a school calendar for most of my life, but after years of gardening and listening, I now know it has more to do with the fact, that I’m tuned into cycles.  The circles and the coming and goings of seeds and seasons.

sunflower seed headAs I was driving down the road last week, over about a 10 mile section of road, I saw three different sets of vultures circling.   A reminder to set my eyes on the circle of life.  Leaves are starting to fall, the garden is a bit of mess in the loveliest of ways.  Alive with migrating butterflies and seed pods and deadheads that are feeding the birds now and falling to the ground for next year.

handful of October leavesNew things are beginning.  Odd to be so aware of them when everything seems brown and tired.  But the crisp air, fresh apples and pumpkin candles smell like Hope.  And my orange sweater with the big brown button is my party attire.
I’ve been painting pages and cleansing spaces in preparation for the soul work ahead.  I’m not really a resolution maker.  Resolutions feel too much like the performance-for-affirmation hoops I’ve stepped away from.  I am however an intention setter.  These are my intentions for this next season:

Dried hydrangeasI wish to begin with courage, reverence and authenticity and with eyes, arms and heart wide open.  In this season, I choose to honor individual story, approach and timing as I trust the Holy Spirit to reveal Path, plumb depths and clarify Voice.  Bendiciones.



By |2016-10-19T14:20:33-04:00October 1st, 2012|Art is Life is Art, Mandala Monday|1 Comment

Mandala Monday: Mandalas for conversation & processing.


“The crucial variable in the process of turning knowledge into value is creativity.”
John Kao

Last week was a big week for processing.  {And that sentence is just too small to contain the shift and movement that I know are coming!}  It’s actually been a HUGE week for processing.  Which means lots of time in the pages and a couple of long conversations with my long-time, heart friend, Candi.  These mandalas were drawn while she and I were having epic phone conversations.  {One of those times was literally in the middle of the night, when we realized that we were both awake.  Thank you twitter.}

I often draw during conversation or when I’m taking notes.   The rhythm of drawing mandalas soothes my bouncing brain and keeps me present.  Of course if something strikes me, I write it down, thus these mandalas are surrounded by lists of books to read, wisdom and insights from dear friends and the thoughts and dreams that ultimately emerge in the entire process.

Mandala 5Jan2012 {acrylic, paper scraps, Pilot Precise V5 extra fine, Derwent watersoluble Graphitone & metallics}

Today’s list – January Books:

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron {re-visiting w a friend.  Still full of wisdom and movement.}

The Mandala Workbook by Susan Fincher {I think I’ll just keep cycling through these exercises.  Beautiful & deep}

The book of Ephesians by St. Paul {Oh, I love to study…}

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor {The Bluestocking Babes are reading short stories}

By |2016-10-19T14:20:33-04:00January 9th, 2012|Journals, Mandala Monday|4 Comments

Mandala Monday: A mandala for starting

Mandala for starting

“Winning starts with beginning.” Robert Schuller

Starting a new journal is simultaneously exciting and intimidating.  All those blank pages…

Not ever knowing how to start, I usually skipped the first few pages of a new journal, until I read a wonderful post by Stephanie Smith over at Rhodia Drive about her practice of adding a mandala at the front of each journal that she begins.  The idea of blessing a book with intention resonated with me.    It was such an epiphany.  Mandalas are beautiful & contemplative and after drawing/painting them for years, flow easily from my finger tips.

I recently finished both a morning pages painting journal and a my-story-all-in-one-place book.  So, this morning, found me with a new Morning Pages book full of nothing but white pages.  I painted a mandala on the inside cover, entering the book with intentions of honesty & consistency.  Here’s to showing up to the pages.

Good Morning

{Derwent inktense pencils, watercolor, India ink w brush, acrylic, Tattered Angels glimmer mist}

By |2016-10-19T14:20:33-04:00September 12th, 2011|Art is Life is Art, Mandala Monday|3 Comments

Mandala Monday: stamps & a word

One of my BIG Painting sisters, Lauren recently shared a link to these fabulous wooden stamps from THE INDIAN BLOCK COMPANY.  {I’ll post photos as soon as I get permission, or buy my own, whichever comes first!}  I love all of them, but the circle ones in particular got my heart to beating.  They are very mandala-ish and are officially on my wish list!  {And I’m saving my pennies to have a couple of wild thyme designs turned into stamps.}

Maybe one of these…  {I love dreaming of possibilities.}

mandala detail

And speaking of possibilities…

The word for May is REDEMPTION.  It fairly jumped of the list that Meghan sent me.  So, there’s a dream & word.

The verb for today is GO.

By |2016-10-19T14:20:36-04:00May 2nd, 2011|Art is Life is Art, Mandala Monday|0 Comments

Mandala Monday {on Tuesday}: A mandala for discussing

a book discussion mandala

I recently spent a long weekend with my book club, The Bluestocking Babes.  We’ve been meeting for 6 years and have a nice list of reads to our credit.  We’ve also been delighted to find that, in addition to discussing books, we can easily be together.  We are mostly morning birds;  so by 7am, there is coffee brewing and by 10pm, one of us has fallen asleep watching a movie.  In short, we have the same basic rhythm to our days, so we’re up early, out the door to find an antique shop or two and back “home” to cook for each other in the evenings.  {On a side note: I have yet to get them to watch a Jane Austen movie with me… I think they are frightened by my selection skills as I have chosen the highest number of We-Didn’t-Like-This-Book-At-All books.}

I doodle when I chat

During one of our late evening dinners, we discussed The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf.  Thus far, it is one of our 2011 favorites.  I love that when we talk books, we talk life.  Yes, we usually have a guide and some questions, but we “rabbit trail” off into wonderful conversations.  And we laugh.  Oh, my goodness, if you’re going to start a book club, make sure that at least one person is funny.  I think one of our best qualities as a group is that we laugh.  It makes the bad books redeemable and gives the good books extra dimension.

April calendar & mandala

Of course, while we excavate, I always have my journal out.  I doodle or take notes and often document the hilarious or profound things that get said.  This time round there was a blank page next to my April calendar and the conversation was a mandala discussion.  As we discussed foreshadowing and characters, it was easy to enter into the rhythm of drawing and turning the page around and drawing and turning the page around.

We talked.  I sketched.

I'll find a place for you...

On the way home we made one last antique store stop.  One of my finds was a little bag of buttons.  Some of them are broken and some of them still have old thread.  None of them match.  But I came home and put them in a tea cup to stare at for inspiration.  Later in the week while chatting with my good friend, Candi, I added buttons to the page.  {I’ve made a deal with myself that if I’m on the phone, I have to be doing something with my hands.  I usually unload the dishwasher.}

focus on my favorite button

I love how the page turned out.  {My favorite button is the cat-eye mother of pearl on the right.}

Do you doodle when you chat?

By |2016-10-19T14:20:36-04:00April 26th, 2011|Art is Life is Art, Mandala Monday|3 Comments

Mandala Monday: Mandala for Listening


Had tea with friend yesterday.  It was one of those epic catch up kind of afternoons.  We sat in the sun, on the patio of a restaurant that’s around the corner.  {She only lives about a mile-and-a-half down the street; I’m not sure how we went so long without sitting in the same space…}  The weather was perfect, as it often is this time of year in Atlanta.  The desserts were sweet.  {And so was the company.}  As usual, I had a journal and a couple of pens.

A Mandala for Listening.

Her story was long and deep – and the rhythm of mandalas keeps my hands moving and helps me listen.  {And stay quiet…}

Mandala for Listening

And a sister mandala from the same conversation: 

A Mandala for Prayer

It’s comprised of words and thoughts in the round.  A prayer both as it was made and for returning.

Mandala for Prayer

By |2016-10-19T14:20:37-04:00March 14th, 2011|Art is Life is Art, Mandala Monday|2 Comments

Mandala Monday: More circles

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been involved in this workshop:

In one series of painting exercises, I was pleased {but not surprised} to see circles.  Lots of circles.  Very similar to the simple mandalas from this month’s exercises in The Mandala Workbook by Susanne F. Fincher

Here are a few of the paintings.  23×30 Acrylic on paper.

exploration in shape

Scribble in pink

Scribble in blue

By |2016-10-19T14:20:37-04:00January 24th, 2011|Art, Mandala Monday|0 Comments